With no action from the special legislative session, Iowa schools must make their spending decisions for the coming academic year. But Waterloo superintendent Arlis Swartzendruber says his district laid off teachers back in March when lawmakers said they might manage enough funding for one-percent “allowable growth.”He says that won’t cover built-in raises and increases in health insurance. He says the district’s cutting its own budget by two million dollars, based on the legislature’s per-pupil funding approved before the end of the regular session. Janesville superintendent Dick DeMott says more funding would help, but still wouldn’t let him hire any more staff.He says more money would have let him help teachers who buy supplies out of their own pockets. DeMott says lawmakers did respond to educators’ top priorities, class size and teacher pay. South Tama superintendent Clarence Lippert says skimping on technology will be a poor strategy. He says they might end up having to divert some salary money to technology. Lippert says a school can’t afford to let its technology get outdated and let whole networks go down. Governor Vilsack could call legislators back for another session, but republican lawmakers continue to say they’ve spent all they can, and administrators say for now they’re not basing their budgets on the hope for more money.
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